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Sandeshkhali Case: TMC Leader Sheikh Shahjahan Arrested

Sandeshkhali Case: TMC Leader Sheikh Shahjahan Arrested

Trinamool Congress leader Sheikh Shahjahan, accused of sexual violence and land grabbing in Sandeshkhali, West Bengal, was apprehended after 55 days of evasion. Police detained the 53-year-old from Minakhan, North 24 Parganas, following a court order. His arrest follows criticism from the Calcutta High Court for the delayed action.

Section 144 was imposed in Sandeshkhali post-arrest, including areas near Sheikh Shahjahan’s residence, amidst widespread allegations of land-grabbing and sexual assault, sparking month-long protests. West Bengal BJP president Sukanta Majumdar attributed the arrest to sustained pressure from BJP and local women.

Trinamool MP Santanu Sen defended the delay, citing legal constraints and asserting the government’s adherence to ‘rajdharma’. He criticized BJP’s response, urging them to learn from Trinamool’s governance principles.

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Sheikh Shahjahan had been on the run since January 5, following an altercation between a mob-linked to him and Enforcement Directorate officials during a raid. The National Commission for Scheduled Tribes received numerous complaints of sexual abuse and land encroachment against him.

The High Court’s directive to allow arrest by agencies like CBI and ED raised concerns about the potential dilution of the case by state police, voiced by Additional Solicitor General SV Raju. Despite these complexities, Shahjahan’s case is scheduled for a hearing on March 4.

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